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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Peppermint Mint Milano Cookies!

I saw a variety of these (not gluten-free) in the store and thought they'd be perfect for a fancy gluten-free wedding cookie! They were delicious - and even froze well with ganache & peppermint in-tact, with just a tiny bit of sticking together (I was forced to eat a couple - not a hardship, I assure you).   Just one batch of my milano cookie recipe made 36 cookies, and you can easily double the recipe, if desired.  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Peppermint Mint Milano Cookies
Gluten Free Peppermint Mint Milano Cookies - ready to eat! 

Peppermint Mint Milano Cookies!
Makes 36 open-faced cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat(s).

In a mixer, beat until creamed:
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix in:
3 egg whites

Beat in:
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Add and mix in, just until combined:
3/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix

Using the smallest size cookie scoop (1 Tbsp), scoop cookies onto prepared pans.  Place 12 cookies per pan, since these spread quite a lot during baking.

Bake 8-9 minutes at 350F, until golden around edges of cookies.  Cool 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Once cookies are cool, spread the bottoms with mint chocolate ganache (recipe below) and dip in crushed candy cane.  Let ganache set before storing.
Chocolate on GF Milano Cookie
Ganache was spread on using the back of the spoon since we were dipping them in peppermint.
Gluten Free Peppermint Mint Milano Cookies
I returned them to the cooling racks after ganache/peppermint was added to allow them to set.  You can refrigerate them to speed up the process.

These can be eaten right away, stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or frozen (I've never frozen more than a couple weeks.  They were still delicious - even straight out of the freezer).


 Mint Chocolate Ganache:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil:
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cream

Once butter/cream are nicely bubbling, remove from heat and mix in:
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

If desired, add 2-3 drops peppermint essential oil*.  You can also use peppermint extract ~ 1/2 - 3/4 tsp should work.  Peppermint flavoring is strong, so use sparingly and make sure to taste-test along the way so you don't end up with too much minty flavor.  

*I prefer using the DoTerra Peppermint Essential Oil in this recipe. The taste is fabulous. You can buy the DoTerra Peppermint Essential Oil at, my friend Christine's online store.  The great thing I love about the DoTerra Essential oils is that they're a very high quality and taste, and are made to be ingested - they have all sorts of other flavors that can be used in cooking and baking! 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Focaccia Bread Pizza!

While around here, we usually go for a thin crust pizza, every so often we're in the mood for pizza with a big thick crust and plenty of toppings.  My focaccia bread recipe makes a perfect thick and hearty crust for heavier toppings.  My son topped this pizza himself for his birthday. It was delicious! Enjoy!
Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Pizza
Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Pizza - Fresh from the oven and ready to eat!

Focaccia Bread Pizza!
Serves 4-6

Make 1 batch of my easy Focaccia Bread.  You can leave off sprinkling on salt & herbs after brushing with olive oil.  Bake as directed.

Remove from oven, and top with the following (or other pizza toppings of your choice):
spaghetti sauce, use generously
fresh spinach, diced finely
fresh sliced mozzarella
diced ham or pepperoni
grated parmesan, sprinkle lightly over entire pizza before cooking
olive tapenade, spread lightly (optional)
red chili flakes (optional)

Topping GF Focaccia PizzaTopping GF Focaccia Pizza
My son topping his own focaccia pizza for his birthday (his choice!).
Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Pizza before baking
Plenty of toppings piled on by my daughter.
Bake at 400F for about 5 minutes, then slide the pizza directly onto the rack for another 5-10 minutes until toppings are nicely cooked (depends on how many toppings you put on).   Cooking directly on the rack ensures a nice crisp bottom crust.  

Remove carefully from oven (Either back onto the pan or onto a large cutting board).  Slice and serve! After slicing, it's best to place pizza on a wire cooling rack to ensure the bottom stays nice and crisp. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Pizza
My son's pizza, with fewer toppings fresh from the oven.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Homemade Gluten-Free Bagels & Lox

This is a family favorite.  I grew up eating bagels and lox with my dad - sometimes smoke salmon mixed right into the cream cheese, sometimes big slabs on top. Either way was delicious!  I tend to use tiny piece of smoked salmon on the kids bagels and put large slabs on top for grown-ups, but however you prefer it's a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner meal.  It's great piled with a selection of thinly sliced fresh vegetables, too. I brought homemade bagels, cream cheese, lox and a veggie platter to a church potluck recently, and it was inhaled!  Enjoy!
Homemade Gluten Free Bagels and Lox
Homemade Gluten-Free Bagels & Lox.  One of my favorite breakfast meals - lovely smoked salmon on an everything bagel! Eat like this, or top with fresh veggies, dill, and capers.

Bagels & Lox

Make double or triple batch of gluten-free everything bagels.  Slice each bagel in half.  Great fresh or you can toast them, too.

For a delicious spread, arrange on a platter:
red onion, thinly sliced
tomatoes, sliced
cucumbers, sliced
capers, sprinkled lightly over toppings (optional)

Place on a platter, loosening layers slightly - and slicing into smaller pieces, if desired:
smoked salmon, thinly sliced with dill
(you can arrange fresh dill on top if your smoked salmon doesn't have dill already added)

Serve with 1-2 containers cream cheese.

These are great piled high with each topping, or you can pick and choose what you like best! Enjoy!
Smoked Salmon Spread
Platters of dill smoked salmon and veggies - ready to eat!
I sliced the salmon into smaller pieces so they more easily fit on the bagels.